Adolescent stressors coupled with environmental demands, such as pressures to achieve, might lead to negative outcomes for some students. Students who worry about their ability to meet high standards might be more at risk of internalizing problems.
This study investigated the relations among perfectionism, social support, and internalizing problems of middle school students (N = 169). Research has established perfectionism as having maladaptive and adaptive traits.
Regression analyses indicated that maladaptive perfectionism was positively related, while adaptive perfectionism was negatively related, to anxiety and depression. Adaptive perfectionists reported significantly higher levels of teacher support than maladaptive perfectionists and nonperfectionists and higher levels of classmate support than nonperfectionists.
In addition, classmate support for girls and boys, and teacher support for boys, were found to buffer the relation between maladaptive perfectionism and anxiety and depression.